Once I was going somewhere and I had all the time in the world. I was driving slow. After some time I found slow driving was fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable, a lot more than fast driving used to be. I had never found driving so enthralling. I found a few faces turning towards me with the expression, ‘Poor guy. Has a big vehicle, but can’t drive!’ I was amused. After that day I decided to try to continue driving slow. The enjoyment, the comfort, the peace, and the relaxation were so much that I wanted to continue the experiment. After a few weeks, I decided that I shall never cross 60 kmph.
Initially it used to be embarrassing, since I thought I was obstructing the path of faster drivers. I pasted a bill board on the rear glass cautioning boldly that my maximum speed was 60 kmph. It thus became their responsibility to avoid me. I used to avoid the faster lane for their sake. Remember, I have said 60 kmph is my MAXIMUM speed, which gave me the freedom to be slower. Since the last few months I have been driving at 50 kmph, or sometimes even less. (Some of you might be thinking, ‘Oh! This fool will soon stop driving altogether!’) I have since changed the bill board to the picture of an eye (meaning ‘I’) DRIVE SLOW’.
Slow driving gives you a heavenly feeling. You don’t have to change gear nor apply brake or clutch every now and then. Once the sense of urgency is off your mind, peace begins to rule it. If somebody laughs at you and speeds away, you DO NOT feel, ‘Aha, you laugh at me? What do you think, I cannot drive? See this!’, and then speed away to overtake the offending vehicle. You feel you are beyond such feelings! Instead you start sympathising with them.
When you drive at 45–50 kmph, listening to some old classic songs, with several vehicles including two-wheelers overtaking you on both sides at great speed, you feel you are actually floating in the air. You feel you are on top of the world! The scornful eyes, the sympathies, the laughs, nothing of the sort affect you. You feel stronger and bolder. I also feel slow speed is the panacea for the so-called road rage. When you are not in a hurry and completely relaxed; when you are at peace with yourself, your car, and others; when you don’t react to deliberate misadventures, where is the ‘rage’?
You never have to wait for side, others do it; you never have to screech to a halt, others do it; you never have to yell at somebody for not giving side, others do it; you never have to zig-zag through heavy traffic, others do it. Let faster drivers have all the troubles, you have all the peace and comfort.
Another point is that you don’t use up a lot of extra time by driving at 50 kmph instead of 70 or 80 kmph. Faster vehicles also need to slow down or stop at red lights or in traffic jams which are common sights on
roads. You don’t save a lot of time by driving faster. Why should you then miss the ecstasy of slow driving? I will not. Delhi